Today’s news feed brought many stories. The doctor working in Sierra Leone who was transported to Nebraska for Ebola treatment died. Three cases of child abuse/neglect made my local news. The beating death of an Army veteran in North Carolina. Preparations in Ferguson and surrounding areas for riots. A homicide in the south end of my city with the shooter still at large. Posts about diabetes for awareness. And many, many posts about gift ideas.
The commentary on these stories is equally telling as to why they are news. The fear mongers are calling for sealing our borders to keep Ebola out. One even pointed out that the two people who died were black while the two who lived were “of lighter hue.” The comments about the children were along the lines of “poor babies, praying for them.” The Army veteran? He met the guy who beat him in a bar and some are now saying the vet should never have been in that bar. Ferguson? Those people have a right to protest injustice by destroying other people’s lives.The homicide victim? I expect that to pass fairly quickly because of how my city copes, as in not in my backyard. I’m glad to see the awareness posts. The gift posts make me sad after reading everything else.
There’s one gift I’d love to see everyone receive this year. The gift of compassion. I want everyone to experience compassion so they can share compassion. The doctor? He went to Africa to save lives, knowing he himself could die. The children? What a difference it could have made if people stopped saying “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” and started offering to come do laundry instead. If we as a society could stop demonizing behaviors that don’t meet our personal moral standards, I feel we would be better off.
Instead of casting stones, why don’t we spread compassion? Why is it so important to judge other people? I guess it makes some people feel better, but at what cost? We are slowing losing one of the things that makes us awesome human beings.
Your challenge: As you read or watch your local news, think about your reaction to the stories. Realize that you may be judging people based on a few snippets of information. Now, think about you can spread compassion if the topic comes up in your life. You don’t have to agree with the actions of an individual to recognize that each person deserves compassion.